Top Ten

December 8, 2020

Canada invests $23.2M in PSW training through CICan

The Government of Canada has announced that it will provide $23.2M in funding to Colleges and Institutes Canada to develop an online program that will train around 4,000 personal support worker interns. This program is designed to address the shortage of PSWs, which has increased during COVID-19. The accelerated online program will feature six weeks of online training and a four-month WIL placement. The interns will receive on-the-job training providing support to staff in long-term care or home care environments. The program will be offered at no cost to students. CICan (National)

UFV launches EFCIE research centre

The University of the Fraser Valley has launched the Esposito Family Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (EFCIE), an interdisciplinary research centre established through an endowment from the Esposito family. The centre allows members of the UFV and Fraser Valley communities to focus on innovation and entrepreneurship in an inclusive and resilient space. “The Esposito Family Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will bring together students, faculty, government, industry, and our communities to create an exciting, interdisciplinary space where change and innovation can be embraced and explored,” said UFV President Joanne Maclean. “I truly believe the centre will build a social and economic future that is better than the past and I am excited for the ideas that will flourish and commercialize as a result of this space.” UFV (BC)

NSLSC experiencing high number of RAP applications, students report difficulties

People with student loans are continuing to have difficulties reaching the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC). Times Colonist reports that NSLSC is working through a backlog of 30,000 applications for repayment assistance (RAP) after the centre received 169,000 RAP applications between October and November. Borrowers are reportedly continuing to have trouble reaching the centre by phone, and NSLSC’s website includes a warning about lengthy wait times and dropped calls. NSLSC spokesperson Isabelle Maheu says that “clients that require assistance to access their online account due to increased security measures are a significant portion of the borrowers calling the NSLSC.” Times Colonist (National)

Creating career paths for academic staff: Opinion

Working as staff on campus can be rewarding and intellectually stimulating, but there are significant challenges with the lack of career paths within institutions and salary compression, writes Lee Skallerup Bessette. The article notes that while there is data on faculty and administrative salaries, there is less data on that of staff members. Bessette argues that staff tend to be more diverse, and that this lack of data means that women and minorities may be getting paid less than white male staff members. Bessette recommends that institutions implement salary transparency and create transparent, consistent structures for promotion that reward growth. The author writes that institutions also need to close racial- and gender-based salary gaps and incorporate staff into campus administrative culture. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (International)

UNB launches engineering foundations diploma program

The University of New Brunswick has announced the launch of a new diploma in engineering foundations. The program will provide students with exposure to conceptual frameworks and the fundamental principles of at least one of chemical, civil, computer, electrical, mechanical, or software engineering. “The diploma will help grow our community and make UNB Saint John a first choice for students pursuing engineering,” said Michael Van Zyll de Jong, UNB dean of science, applied science and engineering. “Students now have flexibility to complete their degree or graduate with an engineering diploma and apply their new skills in the workforce.” The program will launch in September 2021. UNB (NB)

Great Plains launches Youth Care Worker diploma program

Great Plains College has announced that it will offer a Youth Care Worker diploma program in a face-to-face learning environment in 2021. The program, which is offered through Saskatchewan Polytechnic, allows students to receive the same credentials and curriculum as Sask Polytech students. Students will develop skills in a variety of areas, including agency administration and community development, conflict diversity and family systems, and therapeutic intervention strategies. Students also have the opportunity to participate in extended work-based practicums. Graduates can choose to continue their education by transferring to the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Regina or the Bachelor of Applied Arts in Justice Studies at Lethbridge College. Great Plains (SK)

ON exempts health-related classes from small class rule

The Government of Ontario has exempted health-related classes in postsecondary institutions in Toronto and Peel from the 10 person per instructional space rule, provided students are able to socially distance. 16 programs are affected by the exemption, including those in medicine, respiratory therapy, nursing, and personal support worker. The regulatory change will allow students in health-related programs to graduate and gain professional accreditation, ensuring that there are trained graduates who are ready to take frontline positions. The Star (ON)

Portage offers Construction and Trades Readiness Program for Indigenous communities

Portage College has collaborated with Cenovus Energy Inc and six Indigenous communities to offer a skills training program. Portage’s 24-week Construction and Trades Readiness Program, which is funded by Cenovus, will provide members of the six Indigenous communities with home construction and maintenance training opportunities to help address the shortage of housing in Indigenous communities in northeastern Alberta. “By collaborating with Cenvous and the communities we are bringing work integrated learning to Indigenous students,” said Portage president Nancy Broadbent. “This will create valuable education and employment opportunities for local residents in the long term, beyond the duration of the housing initiative.” Portage (AB)

Huntington launches Peruvian Canadian Institute

Huntington University has officially launched the Peruvian Canadian Institute. The institute will foster and support the relationship between Canada and Peru through a fellowship program, scholarships, and events in both countries. “The establishment of the Peruvian Canadian Institute is truly historic as it is the first institute of its kind to develop highly collegial bridges between the countries of Canada and Peru,” said Huntington President Kevin McCormick. “We will endeavour to highlight and celebrate remarkable individuals and groups in both countries, while building dynamic partnerships in a multitude of areas including education, the economy, politics, resource management, trade and culture.” HuntingtonU (ON)

UOttawa students stage sit-in to demand action on on-campus racism

University of Ottawa students are holding a sit-in at the university’s administrative offices to protest anti-Black racism on campus and express their dissatisfaction with UOttawa’s newly formed action committee on anti-racism and inclusion. Recent graduate Dilaye Desta, who was director of community engagement for the Black Student Leaders Association, says the committee was created in bad faith. “We had continuously been putting forth our own recommendations, strategies, bringing forth other anti-racist initiatives that universities have been doing across Canada — and have continuously been met with resistance from central administration,” said Desta. The students are calling for structural changes that will combat racism, including formation of an anti-racism office, hiring of Black professors, and hiring of a BIPOC anti-racism officer. CBC | Ottawa Citizen (ON)